Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Making it easier to solo sail.
Hasn't ever happened to me either.
Nor to me, er....at least it hasn't happened all that many times....or at least not recently.
Rigging a topping lift for a boat the size that we are talking about is cheap and easy. The line does not need to be high tech or very large diameter. When I have done this, I have rigged the line so that it was tied at the masthead fitting with a simple bowline (and tape the tail so it does not get sucked into the sheave by the main halyard. The other end I pass through an eye on the end of the boom. On the last boat I had where I did this, I got a little fancy and had a snap hook on the end of the line. I had tied a bowline with a small loop in the line perhaps a foot or two above the end of the boom in sailing position. When the sail was down and I was hanging about the cockpit, I would hook the snap hook into the look to hold the boom about a foot higher than I needed it when sailing. When I was getting read to raise the sail I would move the hook to the end of eye on the end of the boom, (or in one case, simply wrap the line around the end of the boom and snap the hook to the line. Either works as long as there is enough slack in the topping lift that its not tight when you are sailing.
Small race boats often don't have topping lifts so they hang the boom from the main halyard when the sail has been dropped,
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay